Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Characters I would Switch Places with for 24 Hours

1. Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Obviously, this series is my number one priority in terms of getting to live in it myself (my recent trip to the Wizarding World only strengthened my belief that Hogwarts would be the greatest place to live in the world). I see more of myself in Luna than in any of Rowling’s other characters (though Hermione is a close second), and if I had to stand in someone’s shoes for a day, I’d pick Luna hands-down. She’s smart, quirky, doesn’t care what others think, loves eccentric animals, has a brave sense of fashion, and just so happens to be a fellow Ravenclaw.
2. Kate Daniels from the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews
Ever since I was a kid, I have wanted to be Buffy. She never fails to have a quippy comeback at the ready, and, more to the point, she kicks ass. But since I haven’t read a Buffy-related book since high school, I’ll have to get my vicarious fighting kicks through Kate instead. Having Curran by my side would only sweeten the deal.
3. Clare from The China Garden by Liz Berry
Ever since I first picked this book up in high school, I have longed to visit Ravensmere. If I were to trade places with Clare for the day, you’d be hard-pressed to tear me away from this gloriously quaint-sounding village.
4. Anna from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Many will probably go with Lola from Lola and the Boy Next Door, but for me, Anna is the girl I’d want to be (and be friends with once my twenty-four hours were up). I’ve never been out of the country, so spending a day in Paris with a great group of friends and one swoony male named Etienne sounds like heaven.
5. Amy from the Secret Society Girl series by Diana Peterfreund
I switched majors from journalism to geography in college, and I was never a part of the Greek life, so the Secret Society Girl series represents an intriguing peek into the college experience that I never had. Granted, my decisions were made intentionally, so I don’t regret never having been in a sorority or other society, but Peterfreund’s series made me wonder what it would be like nonetheless.
6. Penelope from Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Whenever I read a historical romance or one of the classics, I can’t help but ponder what life would have been like as a woman living amidst the restrictions imposed by society, class, and corsets. As unpleasant as many of the details seem, though, I’d like to experience it if only for a day. I’m bypassing classic heroines like Lizzie Bennett and my beloved Jane Eyre here and instead going with a more lighthearted take on the general era.
7. Mercy Thompson from the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
Originally I was going to go with Elena from Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series. Then I remembered the excruciating pain that Elena experiences during transformation as a werewolf, and I decided that if I were really going to get my fuzzy alternate persona on, I’d be better off as a shapeshifter.
8. Lily from Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
Dressing in eccentric outfits, baking holiday cookies, browsing The Strand bookstore, and exchanging witty journal entry dares with a mysterious penpal…I’d trade places with Lily in a heartbeat.
9. Tish from Wicked As They Come by Delilah S. Dawson
This is yet another entry chosen solely for the opportunity to visit the wonderful world in which the story takes place. Sang sounds like an absolute trip, and one that I would gladly take.
10. Anyone from one of Sarah Addison Allen’s novels
I spent the better part of ten minutes trying to choose one of Allen’s novels, but I honestly cannot limit myself to only one. As a North Carolina resident, I could pretend that I do actually live amidst the subtle magic that winds itself throughout all of Allen’s narrative threads, but it’s simply not the same. None of the trees in my backyard throw enchanted apples at me, and the wallpaper doesn’t change to reflect my mood. I long to be a part of the quietly magical realm that Allen has created.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Books for People Who Like X Author

I decided to mix it up and interpret this week’s theme a little bit differently.

1. If you like Neil Gaiman, try Tim Powers.
Powers is a master of his class, yet unfortunately his name isn’t nearly as well known as it should be. His works take work, though; Powers is quite the ambitious author, often utilizing existing cultural figures to construct alternative histories replete with lamias, psychotic serial killer clowns, werewolves, time travel, and the gods.
2. If you like John Green, try David Levithan.
So this won’t come as a shock to many of you, especially since these two authors have actually collaborated before. (If you haven’t read Will Grayson, Will Grayson, do so immediately). Still, for those of you not in the know, Levithan’s writing often reaches the exhalted heights of wry youthful optimism that Green is so famous for.
3. If you like Ilona Andrews, try Seanan McGuire.
The Toby Daye series exhibits some of the best worldbuilding and characterization in urban fantasy today. For those who love Kate Daniels’s toughness and capability coupled with a quick wit and unbearable sexual tension, you’re missing out if you’re not reading about Toby.
4. If you like Holly Black, try Rob Thurman.
Though I’ve mentioned this before, I’ll say it again: Cassel Sharpe and Cal Leandros would be best buds. Though the worldbuilding in each series is starkly different, they share an easy and sarcastic narration that strikes a chord with my cynical nature.
5. If you like Diana Wynne Jones, try Megan Whalen Turner.
These two remarkable ladies drew inspiration from each other’s writing, and it shows in both of their most ubiquitous narrators. I would have loved to read a crossover book starring Gen and Howl.
6. If you like Kristin Cashore, try Sherwood Smith.
If you’re a fan Cashore’s lush prose and mixture of romance, political intrigue, and fantasy, you’ll find all that and more in the Crown Duel duet. Mel is a great heroine, and while there is slightly less magic in Smith’s work, the feel is very similar to that elicited by Cashore’s series.
7. If you like Karen Marie Moning, try Anne Bishop.
While Moning’s Fever series and Bishop’s Black Jewels series have little in common, they will forever be linked in my mind since I discovered them (and fell in love with both) in a short two-month period. Despite their differences, I believe that fans of Moning’s dark fantasy tone will be able to appreciate Bishop’s world and the ambiguously drawn characters that inhabit it.
8. If you like Stephanie Perkins, try Cath Crowley.
Perkins is undoubtedly one of the hottest names in young adult contemporary, due mainly to her remarkable ability to write main characters who seem all at once too good to be true yet utterly believable. Crowley’s work is eminently relatable yet a little grittier than Perkins; still, fans of Perkins work will likely adore Crowley’s writing as well.
9. If you like Maggie Stiefvater, try Liz Berry.
I’ve adored Berry’s The China Garden for nearly a decade now. It’s lovely and unique and criminally unrecognized, especially considering the recent surge in interest for young adult paranormal. Fans of Stiefvater’s lyrical writing will recognize the same quality in Berry’s.
That’s all I’ve got this week. Happy Fourth, all ye readers!

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Books To Read In A Day

Since nearly every book I pick up is a read-in-a-day book for me, I feel like my judgment in this category isn’t on par with most other readers’. I decided to stick mostly to children’s and younger adult books since they are all fairly short, because I’m not sure how many people other than myself would want to slog through a five hundred-plus page book in one sitting simply because it’s so good.

1. Coraline by Neil Gaiman

2. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

3. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

4. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

5. The China Garden by Liz Berry

6. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

7. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

8. The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley

9. Briar Rose by Jane Yolen

10. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Books I’d Quickly Save If My House Was Going To Be Abducted By Aliens

The following are but a sampling of my favorite books, because it would be impossible for me to pick only ten to save. I’m sure there are many that should be included yet that eluded my mind for the time being.

1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

2. The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop

3. Fever series by Karen Marie Moning

4. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

5. The China Garden by Liz Berry

6. The Pride of the Peacock by Victoria Holt

7. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

8. What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones

9. Society Girl Series by Diana Peterfreund

10. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a meme created at the blog of the same name that poses a different question about reading each week.

This week’s questions is: If you had to pick only 5 books to read ever again, what would they be and why?

 1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
This book has been my constant companion since the fourth grade. If I had to pick only one
book to read over and over for the rest of my life, Jane and Rochester’s story would be it.
2. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Gaiman’s writing is seductively bizarre, dragging you into strange new worlds alongside his everyman heroes. The Marquis de Carabas is one of my favorite literary characters.
3. The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop
I have all three books in an omnibus edition, so this counts as only one book. It might be gloriously, gratuitously self-indulgent feminism in a sado-masochist fantasy disguise, but the story is compelling and the characters some of the most complex and sympathetic that I’ve had the pleasure of reading.
4. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
Ed Kennedy makes me aspire to be a better person. Zusak’s depiction of humanity’s latent beauty makes me strive to shed my cynicism.
5. The China Garden by Liz Berry
Berry’s story is simple and lovely and atmospheric. It’s not the best story ever told, but it never fails to transport me, which is what literature should do.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Books I’d Recommend To Someone Who Doesn’t Read X

I’m going to cheat a bit, since I can’t decide among the genres I usually read, and do five books each for romance, fantasy, and young adult.

Top Ten Books I’d Recommend To Someone Who Doesn’t Read Romance

1. The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

This one might not be considered a romance in the strictest sense, but it is simple and innocent and so lovely.

2. The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie by Jennifer Ashley

This novel defies romance reader expectations, going against the grain to deliver a hero unlike any I’ve seen in the genre before.

3. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

Crusie infuses her novel with enough humor and palpable chemistry between her leads to win over even the harshest critics.

4. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

Considered one of the seminal historical romances, Chase’s dialogue  is highly engaging and the plot substantial enough to pique picky readers’ interest.

5. When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James

James creates a relationship between her two characters that is sustained by mutual equality and respect rather than misunderstanding and manipulation.

Top Ten Books I’d Recommend To Someone Who Doesn’t Read Fantasy

1. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Any Gaiman work could win over fantasy-wary readers; Neverwhere just happens to be my favorite.

2. Enchantment by Orson Scott Card

Card effortlessly weaves Russian folklore into a tapestry of fairy tale, horror, romance, and coming-of-age triumph.

3. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

While not an urban fantasy, Snyder’s writing has all the accessibility of the genre along with a unique plot and a heroine to root for.

4. The Native Star by M.K. Hobson

Part steampunk magic, part romance, and part western adventure, Hobson’s world is unlike any I’ve encountered before.

5. Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire

Each book in the Toby Daye series is better than the last. This is one of the best urban fantasies out there, with fae, folklore, romance, a genuinely relatable and capable heroine, and humor to spare.

Top Ten Books I’d Recommend To Someone Who Doesn’t Read Young Adult

1. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

It does a disservice to Marchetta’s writing to limit it to young readers. The complexity of her stories can appeal to young and mature readers alike.

2. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

A lesser known work by the author of the much lauded The Book Thief, this coming-of-age story is thought-provoking and highlights the beauty that can be found in even the most dire circumstances.

3. The China Garden by Liz Berry

Sadly overlooked amidst the masses of paranormals, this is a quiet modern fairy tale that treads new ground without abandoning its simplicity.

4. The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan

A novel in verse that explores the divergent yet resonant voices of high school students.

5. Beauty by Robin McKinley

This Beauty and the Beast adaptation transcends generations. It remains one of the best and most beautiful iterations of the tale.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Authors I Wish Would Write Another Book (debut authors, authors who seem to have taken a hiatus, OR for those who read classics authors you wish would have written another book before they passed).

1. Jane Austen

Each of Austen’s novels epitomizes romantic ideals. Her heroines are every woman’s best friend, and her heroes every woman’s dream. How nice it would be to have another pairing to add to the list of fantastic Austen couples.

2. Victoria Holt

I’ve read every novel published under the Holt pseudonym, and in fact own multiple copies of most. Her stories offer the ultimate escapist romantic adventure. I can always count on a Holt novel to cheer me up, and I wish there were at least one more to add to the shelf.

3. Neil Gaiman

It’s been quite a while since Gaiman has released an adult title, though he has been promising a third book set in his American Gods world for quite some time.

4. Liz Berry

The China Garden has been one of my favorite books for nearly a decade now. It’s such a wonderful yet overlooked story; I’d love to see Berry become a bigger presence in the young adult paranormal field.

5. J.K. Rowling

While I love Harry Potter for the story, I’ve never felt that Rowling was a particularly strong writer. I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt for delivering a solid children’s series, but I’d like to see what she has to offer to an exclusively adult audience.

6. Gail Dayton

I loved the first two books in Dayton’s steampunk romance series, and so am disappointed that publication of the third seems to have been delayed.

7. Robin McKinley

I will lament McKinley’s decision to leave Sunshine as a standalone novel until she realizes the error of her ways and graces fans with a sequel to Sunshine and Con’s story.

8. Anna Katherine

I read Salt and Silver years ago and was excited to have found a new urban fantasy series with a unique premise. Unfortunately, it’s remained a standalone with no sign of a sequel on the horizon.

9. David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

Any time these two authors pair up, it’s magical. I’m not aware of any plans for another alternating POV story in the future, but I hope that changes.

10. Dru Pagliasotti

Clockwork Heart was one of my favorite reads of 2010 and a welcome addition to the steampunk romance genre, which is sadly sparse. I hope to see some action on the proposed sequel this year.